Apologies at the outset for slipping off the radar. But the good news is that there has been a bit of recovery with green arrows for the past two gameweeks.

For those relying on transfer news to get a fresh injection of sorts to their campaign, things have been rather quiet on that front.

Which leads to heading into Gameweek 23 midweek and GW24 immediately with focus on short term as well as mid-term outlook with blank gameweeks coming up for some clubs.

I have used up my free transfer to get in Junior Stanislas of Bournemouth instead of the falling Etienne Capoue (Watford). There were better options that pressed well for others but the need wasn’t as pressing given the fixtures and planning ahead.

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Here is the chain of facts linked to the process:

  1. At the outset, it has been decided to hold off using the second wild-card chip, a temptation earlier in the month.
  2. Which means transfers need to be made strictly on need and urgency basis.
  3. The soft targets in my team and sinking ships are Adam Lallana and Capoue in the midfield, and Dejan Lovren at the back.
  4. With players such as Pedro, Delle Alli, Christian Eriksen, Ross Barkley, Michael Antonio and Kevin de Bruyne in form, the temptation was to make Lallana the priority fall guy.
  5. However, Chelsea and Tottenham have fixtures in doubt coming up with the FA Cup and EFL (League) Cup, and so do Manchester clubs even though United have a easy run in EPL.
  6. Everton are a safe bet but Barkley and Romelu Lukaku have been such big disappointments that it is better to have one more look if it has to be one pick among the two; possibly three because the cheapie Kevin Mirallas is not a bad shout either.
  7. From the teams safe from the blank GW threat, I HAD representation as: Everton (0), West Brom (3), Bournemouth (1), West Ham (1, Burnley’s Robert Snodgrass), Hull City (0) and Swansea (1) players all play both weeks.

That’s six. Replacing Capoue with Stanislas has now made it seven, still four adrift of the magic number. We will wait for the picture to be clearer by Friday and how the maximum can be achieved with minimum four-point hits. There is no use taking extra hits unless the player coming in gets us net profit in points over his replacement.

CAPTAIN O’ CAPTAIN: Alexis Sanchez is the outright favourite on the polls followed by Zlatan Ibrahimovic. There is not much to pick from Harry Kane, Kevin de Bruyne, Eriksen and Roberto Firmino as a standout after the first two.

Kane has always disappointed as a top favourite. By reversing the same logic, I will go by my gut that he will deliver as a differential captain despite an injury-forced mini break.

As always, thoughts are welcome.

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